Is Falling Failure or Freedom?

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Is Falling Failure or Freedom?
What defines a “fall”? Some would say that a fall is a freeing from the restrictions of the oppression of a supreme being. Others would say that a fall is the punishment that comes from foolishly disobeying the one who is in authority over you. The falls in book nine of “Paradise Lost” and “Othello” both have parallels in the reasons and methods in which revenge was carried out and perfection was destroyed. But these stories end with different victors and very different balances of power.
The fall of “Paradise Lost” does have motives and patterns common with the fall of “Othello.” Each story establishes the authority of a Supreme Being, God the creator and Othello respectively. God the creator made everything that exists, and had control over his creation, which happens to be the vicinity of the setting of Paradise Lost. Othello was in authority over all the characters we become familiar with in the play, making his power and God’s power parallel when we consider that they each control the entire expanse of the story. The “deceiver” figures in each are Satan and Iago. Satan becomes jealous of the freedom, authority, and unwarranted appreciation and power God gives to man, his new and “undeserving” creation. Satan feels that he should have been exalted, not put in a position to submit to man. In the same way, Iago felt that he should have been favored by Othello. Instead Othello chose Casio to be his second in command. Because Satan and Iago both felt overlooked and under rewarded, they each mapped out a plan to destroy the purity or happiness of their creator. Both “Paradise Lost” and “Othello” had a character that was used by the deceiver as a tool to further his evil plot. Satan used the serpent, an innocent member of God’s creation, and Iago used Emilia, his wife, who was a servant and confidant of Desdemona to make a more convincing lie. The first main difference between the falls of these two stories is who was being deceived. In paradise lost, it is the beloved creation of the Supreme Being that is manipulated and acts wrongly. In Othello, it is the actual “Supreme Being” figure that is deceived and brought to a tragic end.
With this definite veer in parallels, we can expect that the end of each story will result with a different victim and a different level of punishment. One must consider the two stories separately t...

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The question still remains, what do these two falls represent? The fall in “Othello” represents the failing of friendship’s ability to keep jealousy under control. Iago at one time had respect, even a love for Othello. But jealousy eventually got in the way of his devotion to Othello, and his feelings of equality to Othello and complaint of unfair treatment drove him to seek revenge. We are encouraged to regard this failing as the actions of a man who has been made jealous by being looked over for a promotion. Iago took his own human nature to the next level of greediness, and determined that he would not be left out of the glory he felt he had earned.
The fall of “Paradise Lost” represents the failing of man’s free will to obey the all knowing creator. From the book, we are to regard this fall as an act of rebellion spawned from manipulation and ignorance, which was regretted by Eve and Adam. Satan had no power other than that which God allowed him to have. Ultimately, we see that man has a way for redemption of their fall, and a way to regain their state of peace with God. Man can regain the state of being good within the eyes of God because of the sacrifice Christ made.
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